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Review: Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30X 56 mm

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Twenty years ago, prepping a rifle for a 1,000-yard shot was a daunting and expensive task. Back then, if somebody told you he had just set out into the world of long-range shooting and “bought a low-dollar scope just to get started,” you’d have known that he was in for trouble. But things have improved dramatically during the past two decades, and Bushnell’s Match Pro line represents this shift. We had the opportunity to test out the latest addition to the family, the new 5-30X 56 mm ED version, and below is how it fared.

Our evaluation began by mounting the ED to our test rifle using a pair of 34 mm rings from Talley. This particular rifle was built with a 20-m.o.a. Picatinny rail, which helped us retain more than 30 mils of adjustment after zeroing. We brought our rig to the range at dawn to evaluate the Match Pro ED’s performance in low-light conditions and found it excelled far beyond its price point. With only marginal light, it was capable of resolving close color differences, even in shadowy areas. Bushnell advertises an eye relief of 3.8″, which all of our testers agreed was accurate when they first peered through the scope. We also found that it did not vary much with magnification, which can be the kiss of death for many budget optics.

Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30X 56 mm magnification ring ocular glass tube black finish white backgroundAdditionally, we found the illuminated Deploy Mil 2 reticle (adjustable to 11 brightness settings) exceptionally useful during this time of day, with even the lowest setting providing value at first light. Set in the first focal plane, the reticle can get particularly difficult to see at 5X; the 10X magnification setting felt like the best “home” position for the power ring, as it provides visibility of the entire reticle tree, save the final 20 mils of adjustment at the extreme bottom. Cranking it up to 30X still displays nearly 7 mils of holdover, allowing us to push our 6.5 mm Creedmoor test gun out to 900 yards without touching the dial.

Centering up was easy, as Bushnell sends these scopes to the consumer with a mechanical zero already set, and a first-round impact on the paper allowed for a two-shot zero. The Match Pro ED’s turrets must be lifted before they can be turned, giving the user a bit of assurance without sacrificing ease of access for dialing a correction. Once a zero is established, the turrets can be removed to be reset or to engage the zero-stop built into the underside of the elevation cap. Simply clicking a ring into place sets it to stop where it was last pulled off without sacrificing any elevation adjustment. After performing this function, we still had 21.8 mils left on the dial—enough to send 6.5 mm Creedmoor ammunition out to or beyond its effective range.

We proceeded to test dial accuracy and repeatability by “shooting the square” at 50 yards, which produced four perfectly spaced, one-hole groups. Running the dial up and down a tall target showed us that it tracked accurately and would hold this repeatability even when stressed through its entire range of motion. This also gave us an opportunity to observe the Rev-Indicator on the elevation cap, which pops up halfway after the first full rotation of the turret and completely after the second.

The day ended with target engagement out to 1,000 yards, which proved that the ED was capable of putting shots on steel and clear enough to catch rounds that slipped into the dirt. Our only gripe was that the parallax knob did not completely match the target distance beyond 400 yards. However, there was certainly enough adjustment range to focus well beyond that, so it just required some tweaking.

Bushnell has earned a reputation for quality glass in the hunting sphere, and the Match Pro ED demonstrates that it is equally capable of making high-quality long-range optics for competitors. Our experience confirmed that the scope has what it takes to reach out, remain true and provide shooters the feedback they need to create fire solutions on the fly—all at a sub-$700 MSRP.

Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30X 56 mm specification table riflescope drawing with measurements address contact information text on graphic

Article by AMERICAN RIFLEMAN STAFF

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